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Topics: Quality
What would be the minimum and maximum number of users' required for a User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?

Would it be a minimum of 5? Please advise.
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I think the minimum would be 1, basically because if you have a system that only has 2 or 3 users they would probably appoint 1 key user as their acceptance person.

On the other side when you have lots of users, you may have key users from many different departments all who have had input (hopefully) in the requirements and want to make sure these have been delivered.

I agree with Gordon.

Suresh -

I'd agree that your minimum is one but the maximum really depends on the number of stakeholder groups and how actively engaged users wish to be in UAT.


During the acquisition of one military platform (vehicle) we had approximately 25-30 users to get a broad sample of individuals who represented the 5th to 95th percentile body type. They were also given a questionnaire (60-100 questions) to answer. Some statistical analysis was used to determine a minimum acceptance score.

interesting question!.....I wonder if there is a broader question for every project.......e.g.: "What is the optimum number of.....testers, test cases, test cycles for this project?" I think the QA Strategy is a good place to address these variables.

My last major UAT I tried to involve every end user (About 40 Users) for at least one day of UAT testing because we used it as training on the platform as well. I echo what Kiron said regarding the number of stakeholder groups and engagement of the users. What is the minimum you need to cover each unique user group or functional area? Also, how mature is your test case management system? How many testers are you able to effectively aggregate test results from?

Also consider the user roles within the system- UAT needs to be done at each, such as data entry clerk, supervisor, authoriser, administrator, reporter level etc

The decision is “Expert Judgment” based and requires challenge-based collaboration with PM, Leads and executive stakeholders. The number of variables is extremely high and no one project is the same; some of the variables that came to me off the type of my head is the following: (I could probably triple it by going through LL on past projects).

-- Size and Structure of
. -- codebase (packaged system with mods, fully custom system, configurable, etc.)
. -- development break/fix team
. -- internal IT quality control/review team
-- UAT Strategy / Approach
. -- Module testing requirements
. -- Integration testing requirements
. -- Adhoc (i.e. non-structured) testing requirements
. -- End-to-End (a.k.a. life-cycle testing)
. -- Regressive testing cycle requirements
. -- Script / Process driven
. -- Dedicated / Pro-rated resources
. -- Testing Environment (desk, war-room, virtual)
. -- Integration of SME’s, IT, Competency Center, and other experts
. -- Escalation structure (challenge-based, management availability, etc.)
-- Tolerances
. -- Project Triangle based (Time, Cost, Scope, Quality)
. -- Risk categories

It depends on the range of functionality you want to test.
The concept of key users is helpful, they represent a group of users and are asked to test (not only UAT often), also to participate in designing specifications, UX etc.
You might have different functional groups in a user population and all should designate 1-2 keyusers.
For example, for a financial system you might have accountants, accounts payable, accounts receivable, people who produce financial statements, tax specialists, supervisors.

Both would be dictated by project requirements/structure/contract. Obviously, you need at least one but the max could be a bit more tricky. Having too many can REALLY extend a UAT period and has the potential of turning in an exercise in expectation management. The composition for the UAT team should definitely be defined beforehand, not by name but by function.
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